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Modern agile warehouses demand change in the management for success

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In my latest articles, the focus has been on technology such as automation and robotics. Actually, that is symptomatic for the whole warehouse business right now. However, one thing is sure no warehouse will be 100% automated in the foreseeable future. Humans will be an important part or rather, the most important part of warehouse operations for a long time to come. This is something that is often forgotten in discussions about automating warehouse logistics.

The third article I ever wrote was about how important the HR department is for the modern warehouse. Modern and efficient warehouse operations demand agile staff that is multi-skilled and can move around between the different tasks. To do that, you need leadership with strong communicative skills and staff that is susceptible to rapid directives from management. You also need an HR that is coaching both management and staff and help the management to communicate the warehouse values and handle change management in the warehouse.

Now when almost every warehouse is looking on automation solutions and tries to adapt to e-commerce and omnichannel, change management is more important than ever in warehouse operations. Companies need to understand how important asset HR is to modern warehousing. There are no static operations anymore. Everybody is talking about “Amazonification” but almost everyone forgets that Amazon has been working at such rate of change since it started, change is a part of its DNA. Everybody that signs a contract on Amazon knows what that means. Suddenly implementing such a pace of change in an organization that has worked in the same way for over ten years or more creates a huge worry and uncertainty. If you want to make a mature organization agile and open-minded to change, you need to use leadership and HR that can handle change management.

I will not go into details regarding change management, instead, I have included a link below to a great site about this that describes success factors for change management very well and presents the four most popular theories in the subject.

Finally, do not underestimate the power of great leadership and communication in change. There is a lot of research that proves how important change management is in organizations that are undergoing major transformations.

Roberth Karlsson is a logistics expert and the author of

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